With Apple TV+ set to launch next week, and Netflix raising billions of dollars more in debt to pay for original and exclusive programs, the streaming TV wars are showing few signs of abating.
And on Tuesday, Disney brought even more ammunition to the fight.
Starting Nov. 12, Verizon mobile phone customers will be able to get a year of Disney’s new Disney+ streaming TV service for free. Verizon said the deal will apply to all of its current and new mobile-phone subscribers, as well as any new FiOS home internet and 5G home internet subscribers.
For Verizon customers, the free Disney+ offering should alleviate any doubts they may have had about whether to pony up $6.99 a month, or $69.99 for a year’s-worth of access to Disney’s massive catalog of programming. When Disney+ launches on Nov. 12, it will include titles ranging from animated classics such as the original “Snow White”, to the Oscar-winning musical “The Sound of Music”, and the catalog of “Star Wars” movies.
For Disney, the deal gives it a potential base of more than 118 million members right out of the gate, based on how many mobile-phone subscribers Verizon had in July, the last time Verizon released such figures. That membership base should give Disney+ some momentum in the streaming TV space in the wake of the launch of Apple TV+ on Nov. 1.
As part of its efforts to get a stake of the subscription streaming market, Apple is undercutting its rivals by offering Apple TV + for $4.99 a month. Apple is also giving a year of free Apple TV+ service to anyone who buys a new iPhone or other Apple products.
Disney+ is seen as one of the biggest challenges yet to the streaming TV dominance of Los Gatos-based Netflix. Last week, Netflix said it added 6.77 million new paid members worldwide to finish the third quarter of the year with 158.3 million subscribers. On Monday, Netflix said it would sell $2 billion in debt in order to help fund new original and exclusive programming.
Source: East Bay Verizon customers to get Disney+ for free for a year